Losing them, fixing them, forgetting to put them in
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In the backseat on long car rides home from my grandmother’s house in southern Illinois, I cataloged light sources in the dark: gazing at flare towers burning above oil wells, watching the taillights of faster cars shrink to pinpoints, following the sweep of flood lamps up the domes of concrete grain silos.
A Thousand Words features photography so rich with narrative that it tells a story all on its own.
I learned how to be a man by modeling the behavior of my father, and then other men. What I don’t know is how my son has modeled me, and that’s creating a commotion in my heart.
Learning to ride, falling down, getting back on
I leave with my sunglasses on, waving my hand. Sometimes you call my name, your voice a taut string, and I think Michael might snap in half. But it’s strong — a tether.
For all Dad’s skill with wood and tools, his life was sloppily built. Some sorrow whose origins I can’t name led him to consistently misread the ruler. What does a son do with the wreckage of his father’s life forty-six years after his death?
And I didn’t say there is no philosophy of life that covers this / I didn’t say how am I supposed to breathe when you stop
How could she tell her son that although she bathes, puts on clothes, laughs at Colbert, and has conversations with people, people don’t know. They don’t have a clue they’re talking to a bunch of scattered molecules trying to imitate a human being.
In a marriage, in a divorce, on a pilgrimage
I have bipolar II disorder, which is characterized by rock-bottom lows interspersed with occasional bouts of manic hyperactivity. After some tweaking of my antidepressant cocktail, this maelstrom, too, will pass. I just have to lash myself to the mast and wait.